Brampton MP Kamal Khera has announced that she will be stepping aside from her duties as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development after taking a trip to the US at a time when all levels of government are discouraging non-essential travel.
In a statement posted to social media, Khera says the purpose of her trip was to attend a private memorial for her late uncle, and claims there were less than 10 people in attendance.
“As many of you know, like the challenges many Canadians faced in 2020, my family and I endured the sudden loss of my father in September followed by the tragic loss of my uncle a few short weeks thereafter,” Khera said.
“After the end of the 2020 Parliamentary Session, on December 23, I traveled to Seattle, WA where I joined my late uncle’s only daughter for a private memorial of less than 10 people, to honour the loss of our loved ones after not being able to attend the funeral of my uncle at the time of his passing.”
Khera says she returned to Canada on Thursday, December 31.
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While the Brampton West MP maintains that the purpose for her travel was deemed essential given the circumstances, she is nonetheless stepping aside as Parliamentary Secretary to ensure her choices “do not distract from the important work of our government to continue battling this pandemic.”
She will maintain her position as a Member of Parliament.
“My decision to run as a Member of Parliament was ultimately born from my desire to serve my community. I am therefore choosing to focus my efforts on the most pressing concern in our fight against COVID-19; to ensure we are able to vaccinate as many people as possible, as fast as possible,” Khera said.
“I hope to be able to do my part in the vaccine rollout where there may be nursing shortages, and will do this in addition to my role as the Member of Parliament for Brampton West.”
Khera was first elected as the Brampton West MP in 2015, and has also worked as a registered nurse and community volunteer.
She was also one of the first politicians in the country to test positive for COVID-19 back in March 2020.
Khera isn’t the only politician to recently come under fire for travel-related reasons, with Ontario’s finance minister Rod Phillips recently berated over a controversial Caribbean vacation.
Photo courtesy of Kamal Khera on Twitter